KENYA – The Kenyan government has revealed its plans to completely halt the importation of powdered milk and fish from China in a move to boost local dairy production.

According to President William Ruto, the government has the capacity to generate about Kes 120 billion from the fishing sector since the country has huge opportunities in the Blue Economy.

“Why do we have to import products that we can get in our own country like fish when half of Kenya is in the ocean,” he said

He assured that the government will set up special economic zones to attract investors and promote Made in Kenya products in the international market.

“These special economic zones will generate billions of money that will boost our economy, as a government we want to have a debt-free country, we cannot keep on lending money from other countries,” he stated.

President Ruto also termed the move to include Delmonte farm, a Kenyan farm that operates in the cultivation and production of pineapple, in the special economic zones as a great investment urging that this will help boost export markets for Kenyan agricultural products.

Kenya sets aside billions to boost dairy farming

In efforts to boost dairy farming in the Mount Kenya region, Ruto has said that his government has set aside Kes 8 billion (US$55. 59 million) to put in place milk collection points and supply more than 650 milk cooling machines under the government modernization program.

“In our 2023/2024 financial year budget we removed VAT tax on animal feeds, yellow maize, and other products to enable our farmers to boost their dairy milk production,“ Ruto stated.

Meanwhile, Ruto has announced that the government will increase the farmers’ credit kit from Kes 2 million to Kes 10 million so that farmers can access affordable credit with a low-interest rate of less than 10% to buy farm Inputs.

In this move, the government is seeking to double the country’s milk production in the next five years to expand opportunities for farmers.

He argued that milk is one of the highest income earners in Kenya, generating at least Kes 200 billion (US$1.39 billion) a year.

He explained that the Government will modernize Kenya Cooperative Creameries plants and install milk coolers countrywide so that more milk can be processed.

“We want to fetch more from value-added milk. Our farmers are not thriving because they have been selling raw milk,” he said.

He said the country has enough facilities to create powder and long-life milk to ensure the surplus milk does not go to waste.

The President also noted that farmers will be at the centre and front of the new plan to give the sector a new lease of life.

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